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Weekly News Digest

August 19, 2021 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

Hachette Set to Acquire Workman

Hachette Book Group (HBG) has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Workman Publishing Co., Inc. “The Workman program will powerfully complement HBG’s existing publishing programs, and this acquisition will unlock new opportunities for growth in exciting directions,” says Michael Pietsch, HBG’s CEO.

“[M]y first and foremost goal was to find a place where Workman’s unique culture could prosper long into the future, a place where we could nurture and protect our greatest assets: our authors, illustrators, and, most of all, our amazingly wonderful staff,” says Carolan Workman, Workman’s executive chairperson and president. “I am so happy to be joining with Hachette. They clearly respect not only what we are but who we are. I truly believe that our two companies will thrive together in this partnership.”

Workman, which comprises several imprints, will become HBG’s eighth publishing group. The transaction is set to close following regulatory approval.

For more information, read the press release.

The Scholarly Kitchen Looks at the Return to In-Office Work

Angela Cochran writes the following in “Transitioning Back to In-Office Work Requires a Plan” for The Scholarly Kitchen:

Pages and pages have been written about what ‘return to normal’ might look like, and what has changed so drastically in the past 18 months that we may never go back to. We talk about this a lot at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Without a doubt, more time has been spent [at] senior management meetings discussing old work policies that need to change, how we can be flexible, what it means to be remote, the difference between remote work and work from home, than any other topic. …

I have been thinking a lot about what that means as we navigate issues around office re-opening. When the pandemic started and everyone was sent home—largely around March 13, 2020, for most of us on the East coast of the United States—nothing was intentional. Since that day, we are all self-taught on how to work during unprecedented times.

Last month, we had our first hybrid department heads meetings at ASCO. About half the vice presidents and executive leaders were in the office and half logged in from home. We are currently in a ‘soft opening’ phase at ASCO. People can work at the office a little easier than before, but no one is required to come in. …

If we are going to be intentional about our next steps, we need to be honest with what that means. We may feel like our teams have done great over the last 18 months and that may be true. But everyone being at home at the same time is way different than some or even most people being at home with the others on-site.

For more information, read the blog post.

Exploring Book Accounts on TikTok

Alison Flood writes the following in “The Rise of BookTok: Meet the Teen Influencers Pushing Books Up the Charts” for The Guardian:

#BookTok, a corner of TikTok devoted to reading, … has clocked up 9.6bn views and counting, and has been described as the last wholesome place on the internet. Here, users—predominantly young women—post short videos inspired by the books they love. Those that do best are fun, snappy takes on literature and the experience of reading. …

These posts can attract millions of views, and rekindle an appreciation of books in young readers. ‘I started reading again after six years when I came across BookTok for the first time last October,’ says Mireille Lee, 15, who, with her 13-year-old sister Elodie, now runs the high-profile @alifeofliterature account on TikTok. …

Publishers are watching with interest. ‘The pool of people who are guaranteed to buy young adult books is limited to a few thousand dedicated lovers of the genre, but BookTok is exciting, with its short, entertaining videos bringing a new, powerful opportunity to reach and engage non-readers, to create more book lovers,’ says Kat McKenna, a marketing and brand consultant specialising in children’s and young adult books. ‘These “snapshot” visual trailers are making books cinematic in a way that publishers have been trying to do with marketing book trailers for a really long time. But the way TikTok users are creating imagery inspired by what they are reading is so simple, and so clever. It’s that thing of bringing the pages to life, showing what you get from a book beyond words.’

For more information, read the article.

The Boston Globe Unveils Special Section to Advocate for COVID-19 Vaccination

The Boston Globe introduced a special section, The Last Best Shot, “a sweeping initiative featuring an editorial from the Globe’s editorial board urging bold efforts to vaccinate Americans and several stories from the Globe’s top healthcare and metro reporters, underpinned by a compelling series of data visualizations, to reinforce the importance of vaccinations in the fight against COVID-19.” Its goal is to show how getting vaccinated is the best defense against the spread of COVID-19. More than 50 other newsrooms in the U.S., including the Miami Herald and the Chicago Sun-Times, have published similar editorial features.

“We have an obligation as journalists to report facts and provide context and analysis on issues of great importance to our communities,” says Brian McGrory, The Boston Globe’s editor. “We know how to change this. We need the individual and collective will to do it. The Globe is trying to help in the best way we know how—giving prominence to people’s stories and sharing hard data in this special section.”

For more information, read the press release.

IMLS Announces Details for the 2021 National Tribal Broadband Summit

IMLS and the Department of the Interior are joining forces with the Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Service and the Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunication and Information Administration to host this year’s National Tribal Broadband Summit, which will take place virtually Sept. 17 and 24 and Oct. 1. The summit “offers a platform for leaders across the broadband development ecosystem to share best practices, new ideas, and lessons learned from their real-world experience of bringing high-speed internet to Tribal businesses, governments, and homes.”

“Broadband internet is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning, health care, and to stay connected. Yet, by one definition, more than 30 million Americans live in areas where there is no broadband infrastructure that provides minimally acceptable speeds—a particular problem in rural and Native American communities throughout the country,” says Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland notes, “This summit represents an opportunity to leverage the Biden-Harris administration’s all-of-government approach to help ensure the federal government lives up to its responsibilities to Tribal communities by bringing broadband to Indian Country, fueling economic development, and ensuring everyone has opportunities to succeed.”

For more information, read the press release.

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli
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